Mediation

College Of Mediators > Mediation

Mediation

Offers a practical, affordable, common-sense approach to resolving disputes.
Helps people sort out misunderstandings that have led to argument.

Focuses on what practically needs to happen to resolve matters.

Enables those involved to retain control of how the situation is resolved.

Avoids having to resort to damaging, sometimes public and often expensive, legal battles.

Helps people, where they wish, to preserve important personal and business relationships.

Provides a forum for “without prejudice” confidential* discussions where you can suggest ways forward without fear of your proposals being later used in legal action if you cannot agree.

Meets the true needs of the parties.

Mediation is the involvement of an impartial person who is trained to help resolve disputes. They can help you identify and discuss issues that need resolving, consider possible ways forward and reach a decision that feels fair to everyone involved.

Mediators will normally talk to those involved in a dispute separately first. If you and they feel that mediation will be of help, they will then offer you either one, or a series of meetings with one or two mediators, depending on the needs of the case.

They will provide a comfortable neutral setting where those in dispute can discuss the issues that you feel are important. Mediators are trained to manage difficult discussion, help you identify what other help and information you need to make informed decisions and help you find a way forward that seems fair and practical to everyone involved.

Mediators work in various settings including in voluntary organisations, private practices and in solicitors offices and charge at different levels. You can ask about the cost of mediation before confirming that you want to ask a mediator to work with you.

Some family mediators can provide mediation that is publicly funded for those who are eligible. Some voluntary mediation services have charitable funding and do not charge.

This depends on the type of dispute and the complexity of your circumstances. Some mediations, for example concerning workplace disputes, are often conducted over a day. Family mediation tends to be a series of several shorter meetings of about 1-2 hours each with time in between for you to get further information or try out arrangements for you and your family.

Most family mediations are completed in about 3-6 meetings – but of course every case is different.

Mediation can be of great help in many situations. Those in disagreement do not always have to be amicable for mediation to work. Mediators are used to dealing with people who are sometimes angry and upset with each other.

It is important however that everyone involved in mediation feels safe to take part and are able to contribute freely and on an equal basis.

Decisions made in mediation are documented but are not legally binding. A legal agreement, should you require one, can be drawn up from the document by solicitors.

The further pages here give more details of different sorts of mediation. You are welcome to contact our office if you would like further information mediation. You can also call us to identify a College mediator in your area or you can use our online find a mediator search.

Like most other professionals, mediators are unable to keep matters confidential if they are told anyone has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed. In such cases they are obliged to inform the relevant authorities.

Mediation in Different Contexts

Disputes between family members can be extremely distressing for everyone involved and can have a long term and widespread impact throughout the whole family. Mediation can help sort out the problems that have lead to the dispute, clear up misunderstandings and help you find a practical way forward. Family mediators can help resolve a range of disputes including:

  • Contact arrangements for children
  • Property and finance arrangements when couples separate and/or divorce
  • Parent / grandparents disputes
  • Disputes between parents and their grown (or growing up) children
  • Arguments between sisters and brothers
  • Family business disputes

Sorting your family dispute through mediation means that those directly involved decide how things are resolved. This avoids the need to resort to legal action or asking a court to make a decision for you. Mediators work from the basis that you know best what is right for you and your family.

Workplace Mediators are used to help resolve a range of disputes at work. These include:

  • Disagreements or difficult relationships between work colleagues
  • Multiparty disputes within teams
  • Disputes between different levels of management
  • Employer/ employee disputes

Mediation can be a more constructive and creative way to help resolve workplace disputes. It can help defuse difficult situations, which if left unchecked, can lead to absenteeism through illness and stress, disruption in the workplace, loss of valuable staff and even legal action.

Workplace mediators are independent third parties who can help sort out misunderstanding and focus on the practical steps needed to move things forward. Mediation sessions are often conducted over one or two meetings making Mediation a swift, simple and cost effective solution to a range of workplace problems.

Civil and commercial Mediation is a very attractive alternative to going to court to solve such disputes. 

It is quicker and cheaper than going to court (by a country mile!) and the parties can agree a solution which a court could never impose. 

It can help rebuild relationships which court action would destroy. 

Under the Civil Procedure Rules litigators have a constant duty to consider Mediation, and face cost penalties if they unreasonably refuse to mediate. 

Our mediators have helped solve disputes in a very wide variety of disputes, including partnership, director, share valuation, company sale & purchase, Section 994, construction, property, rights of way & boundaries, defamation, intellectual property, professional negligence, business interruption, housing disrepair, legal costs, probate & ToLATA and many kinds of contract disputes.

Community Mediators can help with a wide range of disputes that occur in a variety of situations in the community. They can help with:

  • Disagreements with friends or neighbours
  • Disagreements between family members, such as separated parents, children and their parents, or between other adults in a family
  • Problems between different groups or interests within the community
  • Disagreements between parents and schools.
  • Issues within, and between, voluntary and community organisations
  • Disputes regarding environmental, development and planning issues

Some community Mediation organisations also work in schools with children and young people, training pupils and staff in Mediation skills to help them resolve disputes in the playground.

Mediators help sort out misunderstandings, make sure different views are heard and understood, and help find a sensible solution that seems fair to everyone involved.

The College of Mediators (COM) and Civil Mediation Council (CMC) are both independent standard setting bodies and offer membership to professional mediators working in a number of different contexts.

COM and CMC collaborated to produce training and practice standards in England and Wales for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Mediation. We are very grateful to the Department for Education (DfE) for their support of this work. The standards were created, using examples of best practice, by a working group from the SEND Mediation field, including Global Mediation, KIDS, Prime Resolution, Steve Hindmarsh and Together Trust.

Since the launch of the SEND Mediation standards in May 2018, a panel of assessors has been appointed to assess applications for mediator accreditation and training approval. A list of the assessors can be found here.

Information for Parents

If you are a parent of a child or young person with SEND and considering using Mediation, please read the Information for Parents document.

Please contact the College of Mediators or Civil Mediation Council offices with any queries about SEND Mediation standards:

admin@collegeofmediators.com or applications@civilMediation.org

Supported by the Department for Education.

Accredited Mediators: (A.M.C.M.) Mediators can apply for Accredited mediator status with the college by completing the College’s competence assessment process based on real cases and demonstrating their skills and knowledge to a higher level in a variety of cases. To maintain your membership as an Accredited Mediator you must complete at least 15 hours mediation each year and also receive the College specified level of supervision and participate in at least 10 hours College recognised CPD per year. Click Here for the accredited mediator pack

Family Mediators: To become an accredited family mediator, you first need to attend an FMC (Family mediation council) approved foundation training course. After this, you can register with the FMC as working towards accreditation, and then start work to build up a portfolio of evidence that you meet the competencies outlined in the FMC standards framework. Click here to visit the FMC

SEND mediators: who meet the requirements for training and practice, may apply for accreditation and membership of either COM or CMC. All accredited SEND mediators who are members of either COM or CMC will be included in the register of SEND mediators.

Click here to view the MAS Mediator Accreditation Scheme (SEND) Document.

The register for accredited mediators is jointly maintained by COM and CMC and is available to view here . (Also see our list of SEND Mediators by location)

If you have recently completed SEND Mediation training and you have also completed the supported practice element and now wish to apply for accreditation, please download the relevant Form 4.

To be included in the register, you will also need to be a member of either COM or CMC. If you are already a member of one of these, please contact that organisation to apply for accreditation, sending your completed Form 4.

admin@collegeofmediators.com or applications@civilMediation.org

If you are not already a member of COM or CMC please apply for membership of either, using the following links:

https://collegeofmediators.co.uk/membership

https://civilMediation.org/for-mediators/membership/

For full details of how to register as an accredited SEND mediator, please read the full standards document linked above.

Mediation can be used in a wide range of situations and increasingly its value is being recognised to help resolve all sorts of difficulties. Many of our mediators are trained to use Mediation in other settings including:

  • Peer Mediation (young people using Mediation to resolve disputes between themselves)
  • Disability Conciliation and SEND Mediation (to resolve disputes around the needs of disabled people)
  • Restorative Justice
  • Homelessness issues – especially for young people

The College is working in collaboration with other organisations to help develop recognised standards for these and other areas of Mediation to ensure that the public can find mediators who are suitably trained and experienced. As such standards are developed, we will be inviting mediators in these fields to apply for College recognition. In the meantime, if you are looking for a mediator who specialises in a particular area do get in touch and we will do our best to help you find someone who can help.

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